Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 101, Issue 10, pp 4289–4298 | Cite as

Comparison of internal process control viruses for detection of food and waterborne viruses

  • María Dolores Blanco FernándezEmail author
  • Melina Elizabeth Barrios
  • Robertina Viviana Cammarata
  • Carolina Torres
  • Oscar Alberto Taboga
  • Viviana Andrea Mbayed
Methods and protocols


Enteric viruses are pathogens associated with food- and waterborne outbreaks. The recovery of viruses from food or water samples is affected by the procedures applied to detect and concentrate them. The incorporation of an internal process control virus to the analyses allows monitoring the performance of the methodology. The aim of this study was to produce a recombinant adenovirus (rAdV) and apply it together with bacteriophage PP7 as process controls. The rAdV carries a DNA construction in its genome to differentiate it from wild-type adenovirus by qPCR. The stability of both control viruses was evaluated at different pH conditions. The rAdV was stable at pH 3, 7, and 10 for 18 h. PP7 infectious particles were stable at pH 7 and showed a 2.14 log reduction at pH 10 and total decay at pH 3 after 18 h. Three virus concentration methods were evaluated: hollow-fiber tap water ultrafiltration, wastewater ultracentrifugation, and elution-PEG precipitation from lettuce. Total and infectious viruses were quantified and their recoveries were calculated. Virus recovery for rAdV and PP7 by ultrafiltration showed a wide range (2.10–84.42 and 13.54–84.62%, respectively), whereas that by ultracentrifugation was 5.05–13.71 and 6.98–13.27%, respectively. The performance of ultracentrifugation to concentrate norovirus and enteroviruses present in sewage was not significantly different to the recovery of control viruses. For detection of viruses from lettuce, genomic copies of PP7 were significantly more highly recovered than adenovirus (14.74–18.82 and 0.00–3.44%, respectively). The recovery of infectious virus particles was significantly affected during sewage ultracentrifugation and concentration from lettuce. The simultaneous use of virus controls with dissimilar characteristics and behaviors might resemble different enteric viruses.


Internal process control virus Hollow fiber ultrafiltration Ultracentrifugation Lettuce Sewage Virus recovery 



This work was supported by grants from Universidad de Buenos Aires (SECyT-UBA 20020100100405) and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT; PICT 2012-2679), Argentina. Funding sources had no involvement in the study design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data, writing of the paper, or the decision to submit the article for publication. We thank Drs. Juan Stupka, Karina Gomes, Daniel Cisterna, and Leila Martínez from the Virology Department of the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas - ANLIS Dr. Carlos G. Malbrán for their help with norovirus and enterovirus quantitation. We thank María Victoria Gonzalez Eusevi for correction of the English language.

Compliance with ethical standards

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

253_2017_8244_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (133 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 133 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Dolores Blanco Fernández
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Melina Elizabeth Barrios
    • 1
    • 3
  • Robertina Viviana Cammarata
    • 1
    • 2
  • Carolina Torres
    • 1
    • 2
  • Oscar Alberto Taboga
    • 2
    • 4
  • Viviana Andrea Mbayed
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Cátedra de Virología, Facultad de Farmacia y BioquímicaUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.Ministerio de Ciencia y TecnologíaAgencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y TecnológicaBuenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Instituto de BiotecnologíaINTAHurlinghamArgentina

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